People go to festival's Sponsor Village; schedule changes announced

Ruthie McRae (from right) of Fort Smith and JoAnne Mills of Little Rock take samples of nail polish Thursday from Lauren Sullivan of Bentonville with Coty while walking through the Sponsor Village at Compton Gardens during the Bentonville Film Festival.

Crowds were out and about around the Sponsor Village, A League of Their Own ballpark in Lawrence Plaza, the Samsung STEAM Room and around the downtown square as the sky cleared Thursday.


http://www.nwaonlin…">Bentonville Film Festival: Women's empowerment takes many forms, advertisers and celebrities say

Temperatures remained in the 50s and sturdy wind kept a chill in the air.

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• There are Duracell phone charging stations in the Inside Out Lounge in the Sponsor Village and VuDu Lounge for those needing a charge on the go.

• The film Band Aid had a venue and time change. It will now be screened at 10 a.m. today in 21c Louise Thaden Theater.

• The Samsung Create Short Film Competition -- featuring work of student filmmakers -- venue and time changed. It will now be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Record South.

• The screening of The White Raven scheduled for Thursday evening was canceled for "unforeseen circumstances" at 6:30 p.m.

• Charles Mully, whose life is featured in the film Mully, will be at the film's screening at 10 a.m. at Louise Thaden Theater in 21c Museum Hotel. "It's just an incredible story. It's almost unbelievable," co-producer Elissa Shay said of the film documenting Mully's life from being an orphan in Kenya to becoming an oil tycoon then sacrificing that success to help other children who were like him. "That for me is the big thing, the very conscious choice he had to make to give up everything he had built in order to give back something money couldn't buy."

• When asked whether film award categories should be gender neutral, actress Judy Greer said she had mixed feelings. Greer would like that to be the ultimate goal, but felt other things should happen first, namely treating women's professional abilities with the same measure of respect. "Articles about women say 'She's able to juggle family and work, but they never say that about men," Greer said. "You never hear 'He's able to juggle his softball league and his career.'"

• Wendy Calhoun, a writer, director, executive producer and Peabody Award winner, spoke to festival guests about the difficulty of writing complex characters for Hollywood screens. "When you write to stereotypes, the things you've seen, very often that flies through the notes process," she said. "It's when you decide to write and empower your female characters or put in advocacy position that you start to get pushback. You're going to have to fight to get scenes out there."

• Supermodel Emme said the question she's tired of getting is "Do you like being called plus-size?" "I always turn it back on them, what are you trying to get from me?" she asks. "I'm a woman. I'm curvy. I'm a mother, friend and girlfriend. When you put me into a category, what are you looking to do? Just call me a model or just call me Emme."

• A new tool put into place by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media can more accurately and affordably identify TV and film characters with voice and facial recognition software and to better understand the breakdown of demographics in media. It found "of the top 100 movies in 2015 and 2016, female lead characters are on screen one-third of the time male leads are," actress Geena Davis said. "They also speak a third as much as male lead characters. Female characters are on screen half as much as male."

• Kevin Clark, children's media consultant, encouraged festival guests who have a vision for more female characters and those who want to write for the big screen. "I learned that creative people can make a change quickly," Clark said. "It takes me years to conduct a research study, but the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is looking for more women to be writers and producers of children's content. That can have immediate impact."

• Cinetransformer Mockingbird experienced some technical difficulties during the showing of Wexford Plaza. A projector overheated. Cinetransformer Honeybee experiences similar difficulties at last year's festival.

• For more information on the Bentonville Film Festival, download the BFF app, follow them at @BFFfestival or visit

NW News on 05/05/2017